Importing an American tradition involving the consumption of vast amounts of junk food could lead Australian children down the dangerous path to poor health, the Medical Journal of Australia says.

An article published this week says Halloween is becoming a serious public health risk as celebrations of the North American holiday increase in Australia.

The imported tradition is being exploited by confectioners, a public health specialist at Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine says.

“In the US each year, US$8 billion is spent on Halloween-related items, including US$2.4 billion on confectionery; a number that exceeds sales at Easter, Christmas and Valentine’s Day,” the University’s Dr Nathan Grills said.

“In 2012, leading Australian supermarkets recorded increases of up to 30 per cent in sales of such merchandise in the lead-up to Halloween.”

“Australians should be aware that profit-driven corporate manipulation of our cultural choices could damage our health. Instead, we should promote healthy and family-friendly events that are consistent with our own cultural identity,” Dr Grills and a co-author said.

“As we consider the rising popularity of Halloween among Australian children, we should ask ourselves: who is being tricked, and who is being treated?”

Fatty intake is not the only risk created by the annual celebration of the macabre, Halloween has also been linked to; food allergies, contaminated food issues, food-borne disease, burns and house-fires from pumpkins used as candelabras, and a fourfold increase in the rate of children being struck by cars.